Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Beauty of Adversity

Aimee was born with fibular hemimelia.

By her first birthday, both of her legs were amputated below the knee.

The medical prognosis was, in a word, bleak.

Aimee's parents were told she would never walk and spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. But, by the time she was a two-year old, a determined Aimee had learned to walk on prosthetic legs, and eventually would do the things kids do; swimming, biking, softball, soccer, and skiing, always alongside "able-bodied" kids.

After graduating high school with honors, Aimee was one of three students in America chosen for a full academic scholarship from the Department of Defense. At age 17, she became the youngest person to hold top-secret security clearance at the Pentagon, where she worked as an intelligence analyst during her summer breaks.

While attending Georgetown University in Washington, Aimee rediscovered her love of competitive sports. Outfitted with prostheses modeled after the hind legs of a cheetah, she went on to set NCAA and World Records in the 100 meter, the 200 meter, and the long jump. In 1999, Aimee made her runway debut in London as she walked proudly alongside the top supermodels of the world. Aimee's triumphant turn on the catwalk captured the attention of the fashion media, propelling her onto magazine covers and named as one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World."

An influential voice in today's changing youth culture, Aimee Mullins has also been named as one of Esquire's "Women We Love," one of Jane magazine's "10 Gutsiest Women," one of Sports Illustrated's "Coolest Girls in Sport".

You are about to discover why.

Aimee's impact is undeniable.

She has been immortalized in exhibits at the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the NCAA Hall of Fame, the Track and Field Hall of Fame, and the Women's Museum, where she is honored for her contribution to sport among the "Greatest American Women of the 20th Century.

You take time to absorb Aimee's story and it can't help but leave you asking not for lighter burdens, but for broader shoulders.

Are there burdens you were born with?

Or picked up along the way?

Because if you don't like something you can always change it.

And if you can't change it, Aimee Mullins has demonstrated how you can change the way you think about it.

"Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds"



ElderGEEK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ElderGEEK said...

It's not "if" we will have to deal with adversity, it's how we deal with it. WOW. Inspiring to be sure. Thanks Gair, thanks for the reminder.

JLandry said...

Wow!! What a powerful message! I never looked at life that way! Come walk with Me!!
She is a powerful and uplifting person. The power of the human will and to bring forth what is within. Two ideas I will reflect upon. Thank you Aimmee and thanks Gair.